With foreign holidays becoming more and more costly, many families are choosing to stay at home for the Summer. Keeping a family entertained for six whole weeks without jetting off can seem difficult but there are plenty of trips, experiences and lots of fun to be had right here in Blighty!
Take a look at some of our top picks for Summer Staycation ideas that you can do without boarding a plane or breaking the bank.
Create hotel resort vibes with a Summer pool party
Recreate the feeling of a hotel resort by throwing a mini pool party in your own garden or yard! Wait for a sunny day and pitch up the paddling pool for endless hours of fun. A cd player with fun party songs and some inexpensive games can create a party atmosphere, whilst some burgers, hot dogs and other BBQ foods can create the taste of Summer.
Life’s a beach!
For a fun packed day that the whole family will enjoy, you can’t go wrong with the beach. For a relatively cheap day out, pack the swimming costume (remember your sunscreen!) and a picnic and head to your nearest beach. You can buy beach accessories like lilos, buckets and spades cheaply and many beaches have local transport links so are easy to get to.
Top Tip: Make the day more fun by planning activities like a sandcastle competitions or collect shells to take home and decorate with paints and glitter to keep as souvenirs.
Create your own Sports Day
The local park can be a great place to spend the Summer, especially if you make it more fun with games at your own sports day. With many children likely to want to sit in front of their games console or glued to a tv screen, this is a great way to get outdoors and active! Invite a group of friends and create your own sports day using items found around your own home or bought for next to nothing – enjoy the classic sports day tug of war, rounders and of course the egg and spoon race!
Top Tip: Split your participants in to teams and boost squad spirit by asking everyone to wear a specific team colour on the day!
Sleep under the stars on a camping trip
For a home holiday, camping is the perfect way to get away without jetting off or paying for an expensive hotel. Local campsites can be easily found online and many now come with perks such as shower blocks, convenience stores and more. Just pitch up your tent and spend the evening stargazing whilst enjoying the novelty of sleeping under the stars. If you are restricted with transport it can also be fun to pitch up in your own garden for some home camping!
Top Tip: If you find pitching a tent a struggle, fear not! Pop up versions that require no assembly give you more time to enjoy the outdoors! No poles or pegs required!
Experience Animal Magic!
Zoo’s, aquariums and farms offer fun and learning for children and adults alike. Bristol in particular has all of these attractions within a couple of miles! Check out the exotic and wild beasts at Bristol Zoo, or discover the creatures of the deep at Bristol Aquarium – both have easy bus links from the city centre so are accessible for all. For a fun and free experience, the city also has public farms where you can see cows, sheep, goats, pigs and more just 10 minutes from the city centre. Try St Werburghs City farm or Windmill Hill city farm for easy to access central locations. Cirencester is lucky enough to have Butt's Farm a short car ride away, with Cotswold Wildlife Park, Roves Farm & Cotswold Farm Park further out.
Top Tip: Help children learn and identify different animals by giving each child a notebook and pencil and asking them to draw and write the names of different species’.
For Rainy Days
As we know, the great British Summer can be unpredictable and rain is to be expected. For rainy days spent at home, there are lots of fun activities that can keep the family entertained.
Board games not boredom
Hold a family board game tournament with whichever games you have at home. Split in to teams or play individually. You don't have to pay a lot for the games as you can usually find them at local charity shops or supermarkets. Plus, a simple deck of cards can be the basis for hours of entertainment.
Top Tip: Make the games more competitive by creating a forefit for the losing team - like washing up after dinner!
Have fun in the kitchen by baking cakes. Children can help with mixing the ingredients (plus licking the spoon and bowl later!) When they’re cooled, they can have fun decorating them with icing and other edible decorations.
Top Tip: Many shops stock fairy cake mix packs complete with mixture and decorations – you’ll just need an egg and some water!
House Treasure Hunt
Create a treasure map of your house and set a treasure hunt with clues that children can follow around the rooms of the house.
Top Tip: You could put a small prize such as a fun sized chocolate bar or a small toy on each station to make the kids more keen.
Can’t decide on what to do? Create a lucky dip activity jar!
At the beginning of the holidays, get each member of the family to come up with one or two activities that they would like to do. Write the ideas on scraps of paper and keep in your ‘lucky dip jar’ take it in turns to choose an activity when you’re stuck for something to do!